In support of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe foundation,presided over by Kerry Kennedy on an international level and Frank La Rue as the executive director of RFK Human Rights Europe,some of the world’s most influential and passionate humanitarian minds came together last week in the famous Riva Tunnel in Monte Carlo. Under the High Patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, New York-based journalistAlan Friedman led the evening’s proceedings, which included speeches by Kerry Kennedy, Lia Riva andFrank La Rue. A former UN Special Rapporteur,La Rue is widely respected as one of the world’s foremast human rights advocates.

Following a drinks reception and thespeeches, the evening progressed to the backdrop of vintage Riva boats, with a culinary showcase courtesy ofarguably Italy’smost influential chef,. The chef and his executive chef, Gianluca Branca, celebrated the occasion with his most famous dish, riso oro e zafferano (rice, gold and saffron), followed by lobster with cream of sweet peppers and Italian meringues with red currant sauce.

During the dinner, the 200+-strong crowd took part in a silent auction, which included items such as a series ofexclusive Harry Benson photography artworks, including portraits of Robert Kennedy; artwork by Matteo Basilé, among many others, and luxury getaways ranging from the exclusive Castello del Mero in Tuscany to The Gritti Palace in Venice. In addition to the silent auction, which released 54 lots, there was also a live auction, featuring 10 lots, including the grand finale item: the No1 0001 of the new Fiat 500 Cabriolet, which had been customised by Bottega Conticelli and achieved€55,000. In total, €300,000 was raised from the auction.

Following the evening’s auction, singer Ilaria Della Bidia, opera tenor Francesco Grollo and French pop band The Gipsy Queens kept guests in high spirits.

While the I Defend Gala raised funds in support of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe and its initiatives, it specifically shone the spotlight on Speak Truth to Power, a project that uses the experiences of courageous defenders of human rights from around the world to educate students and others about human rights, and urge them to take action. Issues range from slavery and environmental activism to religious self-determination and political participation.

To find out more about the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe foundation, visit: http://rfkcenter.org/robert-f-kennedy-foundation-of-europe-rfk-europe